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Openreach to hire 5,000 for broadband rollout

Openreach has announced plans to create 5,000 engineering jobs next year.

The communications company will be employing thousands of new people as it rolls out next-generation full-fibre broadband across the UK.

Around 2,500 of the roles will be at Openreach and a further 2,800 will be in its UK supply chain.

The new roles will be for the £12bn plan to connect 20m homes and businesses in the next ten years. This huge rollout requires providing one home with upgraded broadband every 15 seconds.

Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said: “As a major employer and infrastructure builder, we believe Openreach can play a leading role in helping the UK to build back better and greener.

“Our Full Fibre network build is going faster than ever and we’re now looking for thousands more people to build a career with Openreach and help us upgrade broadband connections and continue improving service levels.”

Rishi Sunak has welcomed the move by Openreach and said:

“Throughout this crisis I’ve been clear that our number one economic priority is to protect jobs, so I’m delighted to welcome this announcement of 5,000 new skilled roles. We’re investing billions of pounds across the UK as part of our Plan for Jobs to ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”

Boris Johnson promised in his election manifesto that he would make sure full-fibre broadband available across the country by 2025. Since the election, it has dropped to 85% coverage across the UK.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “I welcome this tremendous investment by Openreach. It will help us build back better from the pandemic and create thousands of new high-skilled jobs delivering faster broadband to people across the UK.”

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